Am I eligible to refinance my student loans?

Responsible Student Loan Borrowing

Incurring debt for your education can be seen as a good investment in your future. But it’s important to make sure you manage that investment carefully so it doesn’t become an overwhelming burden later in life.

Before You Borrow Student Loans

Follow these useful tips to make sure you will be able to afford to repay your student loans in a reasonable amount of time after you leave school:

  • Your total student loan debt should be no more than your annual starting salary.
  • Devoting up to 10% of your monthly income to pay off your student loans is manageable.
  • Devoting 15% of your monthly income to pay off your student loans is achievable, if you keep your other expenses down.

Paying Back Your Student Loans

What can you do if you're having trouble managing your current student loan payment?

  1. Suspend repayment with a deferment or forbearance so you can meet your living expenses if you have a short-term financial difficulty, such as medical or maternity leave.
    • Federal student loans provide up to 3 years of deferment and forbearance benefits. Check with your loan servicer to learn about the application process.
    • Private lenders may offer forbearance programs to help eligible borrowers who are struggling. Contact your lender as soon as you start having trouble with your payments.
  2. Consolidate or refinance your loans to get a more affordable, lower monthly payment and possibly qualify for a lower interest rate on your private loans.
    • Federal student loan consolidation will extend your repayment period, which typically reduces your monthly payment. Although the long-term cost of the loan may increase, you will have a more affordable payment.
    • Some private lenders offer lower interest rates than federal student and parent loans. You will need excellent credit or a creditworthy cosigner to qualify for the lowest rates.
  3. Find out if you qualify to cancel your federal debt with any of the federal student loan forgiveness or discharge programs.
    • You can earn forgiveness on some federal student loans by working in specific career fields, such as public service and the military.
    • Your federal student loans may qualify for a discharge under certain circumstances. Contact your servicer if you think you may be eligible.

Even if your student loan debt is out of sync with your income right now, you still have options that will help you achieve your financial goals. Find out more about student loan payment plans, including income-based repayment options for federal student loans.

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Learn the pros and cons of student loan consolidation and refinancing, like cutting interest rates and monthly payments, or losing federal loan benefits.

Benefits of Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing

Benefits of Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing

Student loan consolidation or refinancing has several key benefits. You might be able to cut your payments & get a better rate. See if it's right for you.

How Student Loan Consolidation Works

How Student Loan Consolidation Works

Wondering what the first steps are in consolidating or refinancing your student loans? Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

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The Basics of Student Loan Refinancing for 2018

Deciding if you should consolidate or refinance your student loans can get pretty confusing. Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of refinancing.

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5 Common Myths About Student Loan Refinancing

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Private Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rates

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The interest rate on a private refinance loan is determined by the borrower's or cosigner's credit rating. See the impact of different rates on payments.

Private Student Loan Refinancing FAQs

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Get the answers to your questions about private student loan refinancing. Learn more about the benefits, which loans are eligible and how long it takes.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Learn about the benefits of federal student loan consolidation, what loans can be consolidated & how it can help you manage existing student loan debt.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates

Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates

When you consolidate your federal student loans, your interest rate will be roughly the same as your current loans. See an example of the rate calculation.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation FAQs

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Lending Partners

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Min. Loan Amount $10,000 Degree required. Must have graduated from an eligible school. Repayment terms up to 15 years
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Min. Loan Amount $5,0003 Degree required. Must have graduated from a public or private, not-for-profit, degree granting institution. Repayment terms 5 – 15 years2
Am I eligible to refinance my student loans?